THE NAKED EYE, ISSUE #1
Writer & Creator: Jason Doring
Pencils, Inks, Colors, Lettering & Logo Design: Beniamino Delvecchio
Cover Artists: Saad Shehri & Irene Strychalski
Script Editor: Eburonson
WHAT IS IT?
The Naked Eye is a supernatural mystery that centers around a morally questionable paparazzo.
It's got the detective-gets-in-over-their-head theme from Jessica Jones, but it's got a more supernatural background and instead features a man who can turn invisible.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Benjamin “Bram” Brammel can turn invisible when he’s naked and it's nighttime. As a paparazzo, it’s kind of a lucky break. But he uses it as a force for good, fighting evil, or at least injustice. When Ben is asked to investigate the shady practices of a major industrial player, he might be in for a much larger mystery and scandal than he ever could have thought.
Will Ben be able get over his troubled past and even more troubled present? Even with limited invisibility powers, does a small-time investigator like him have the clout or ability to get to the bottom of this mystery and bring the major corporation down? Or will it all crumble around him?
Jason Doring writes a story that feels grounded in reality, even amidst all the supernatural elements. The coarseness of reality works for the genre of the story, where Ben plays a sort of detective, trying to uncover a mystery.
Doring also teases the backstory at a reasonable pace, not trying to cram everything into the first issue, but showing flashes of it, like Ben's still processing everything that happened to him.
There's something that feels really good about the bad guys being part of corporate America, and knowing Ben will have to bring them down to stop whatever sinister, supernatural plot they have brewing. The story's central themes are as yet unclear, but the website's description for the comic promises socio-technological commentary and other discussion points that feel important and necessary.
At one point, Ben is wearing a graduation robe as actual clothing. While it's a good way to further define him as a character who gives zero effs and is a bit down on his luck, Delvecchio deftly includes a photo of Brammel at his graduation, to help readers make the connection that he's wearing a graduation robe.
Beniamino Delvecchio also captures facial expressions well, in an authentic way that I haven't seen since Tony Harris's work on Ex Machina, though Delvecchio's panels are much further away from the characters than Harris's were.
Each individual character also felt like they had distinct personalities, and like Doring was working on fleshing them out even more as they grow and change over the series.
Love the Jewish and gay representation! Body type representation is also nice, though I wish it weren't always used synonymously with giving up on oneself.
Though the sound effects all seem like they're pre-made fonts, I liked them. They're used well, but not overused, and varied throughout. Also, "Hrorrk!" is my new favorite reaction sound.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
It's definitely not for kids, nor is it safe for work. There's nudity, sex, cursing...it definitely makes good on the Kickstarter's promise of "sex, spies, and the supernatural." Also, there's a Content Warning for animal cruelty and racial, ethnic and anti-Semitic slurs (on the part of the bad guys).
This is just personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, but the color palette is realistic and pretty flat, and that always bugs me. The real world doesn't often think about how colors go together, and can be a chaotic mish-mash of them or a bland, unappealing palette from decades ago, at best. A well-curated palette can give a tone that creates a harmony with the story. The Naked Eye's palette feels too bright or washed-out at times ,and stark for a gritty, supernatural detective-type story.
Though Delvecchio did the art and lettering, some dialogue issues could have been solved with lettering-friendly layouts. Hiring a professional letterer and working closely with them as a team could help un-clutter dialogue-heavy pages, design pages so dialogue exchanges flow smoothly, and avoid basic lettering errors (sans serif "I" pronouns, dialogue not centered in balloons, anchoring to the side of the panel, etc.).
Last, I question Doring being credited as "Creator" of the comic, when Delvecchio did the pencils, inks, colors, letters, and logo design. I understand if the idea originated with Doring, but Delvecchio contributed too much work to The Naked Eye not to be listed as co-creator.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Like I said, The Naked Eye promises sex, spies, and the supernatural, and it delivers on those promises.
Plus, there's something compelling about the concept of a naked, invisible paparazzo hoping to bring down a mega-corporation who dabbles in evil, supernatural magic/pseudo-science.
The title raised $3,113 and was successfully funded on Kickstarter, and prints are making their rounds at conventions.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
Visit NakedEyeComic.com if you're interested in buying the issue, or find Jason Doring at a convention and buy a copy from him there!
It should also be coming to ComiXology in the next few weeks
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